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post #166 of 327
Quote:
Originally Posted by tim3320070 View Post

This is AGD colored, as in very slight warmth. This is 95% neutral to my ears. Plus you can dial in the "warmth" with those jumpers. It's all pretty subtle. It's an excellent amp.

Now even more curious to hear impressions with Denons.

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post #167 of 327
Quote:
Originally Posted by WiR3D View Post

Not quite.

 

That was mostly a rough estimation of what the power would be at 8 ohms in comparison to people who use speaker amps to power the HE-6.  I understand that the SA-31 wouldn't be able to do that with speakers due the current demands of speaker level impedances.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by WiR3D View Post

I keep getting the impression that this is an amp for low impedance headphones that need some juice and you want to add some colour - AKG's, low impedance planers, most probably Grado.

 

Not for already coloured headphones like the Denon D7000. 

 

These are probably the most obvious candidates for the SA-31 but I wouldn't say it's less optimal at higher impedances.  Only issue I would imagine is with stock gain with a low voltage source, but this can be easily modified by soldering 2 resistors if your comfortable with that.  I can't say with the D7000 as I've never heard them but I used to own the R1 LCD-2 which is very dark and I think it would probably sound decent on the SA-31 but I certainly don't think it would add any additional sparkle to them.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by FauDrei View Post

...as for output transistors - they are not "the King of transistors" On Semiconductors MJL4281/4302  as in A-GD Master series poweramps. They are Toshiba power counterparts and the Man says this on the topic:

 

Ah, yes.  I noticed that a little later.  Either way, I still find it interesting that it uses a speaker style output transistor.  That MJ4281/4302 transistor is listed as a Bipolar transistor on it's datasheet.  If I had to guess, I'd say the Toshibas in the SA-31 are probably MOSFETs given they are known for a warmer sound and the Accuphase that it's supposed to be modeled after uses a MOSFET output stage.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tim3320070 View Post

This is AGD colored, as in very slight warmth. This is 95% neutral to my ears. Plus you can dial in the "warmth" with those jumpers. It's all pretty subtle. It's an excellent amp.

 

I'd have to agree with this.  I find it warm only in the sense that it doesn't exaggerate source material that is already borderline bright.  It's certainly not colored enough to paint a magical illusion over poorly recorded material.  As Faudrei mentioned in his review, I find the "coloration" to be in the area of harmonics, not frequency response. It could be that the topology of the amp is engineered to retain certain small amounts of the "euphonic" harmonic distortion, similar to tube amps, but in smaller amounts and not affecting clarity and black background like some tubes might.  Though it is a pleasant coloration to me, and doesn't detract from the clarity or detail of the amp.  I'm very hesitant to say it sounds like tubes because it doesn't necessarily, and "tube coloration" already conjures up certain preconceptions that I don't think apply to this amp.  

 

Also, the exceptional sense of space and depth in the soundstage could be taken by some to be larger than life and be considered a coloration.  When I first got the amp, I thought it was really laid back but after further listening I realized this was simply a product of it's increased soundstage and was still fully capable of an intimate sound when the recording calls for it with plenty of impact when called upon.  One thing I want to emphasize is that this is in no way a slow or sluggish sounding amp.  I think what is so "seductive" is the non-fatiguing presentation combined with a sense of speed and clarity normally only reserved for more ruthlessly neutral amps.  Almost similar to how an LCD-2 can be both warm and fast at the same time.

post #168 of 327
Quote:
Originally Posted by JWahl View Post

Also, the exceptional sense of space and depth in the soundstage could be taken by some to be larger than life and be considered a coloration.  When I first got the amp, I thought it was really laid back but after further listening I realized this was simply a product of it's increased soundstage and was still fully capable of an intimate sound when the recording calls for it with plenty of impact when called upon.  One thing I want to emphasize is that this is in no way a slow or sluggish sounding amp.  I think what is so "seductive" is the non-fatiguing presentation combined with a sense of speed and clarity normally only reserved for more ruthlessly neutral amps.  Almost similar to how an LCD-2 can be both warm and fast at the same time.

This I have found to be true of all the gear I have from Kingwa, from the Master-5 down to the NFB-16. It's why I buy his amps and dac's.

post #169 of 327
Quote:
Originally Posted by tim3320070 View Post

This I have found to be true of all the gear I have from Kingwa, from the Master-5 down to the NFB-16. It's why I buy his amps and dac's.

That's true.  I just find it more dramatic with SA series than the ACSS.  I've only previously the SA-1 DAC and NFB-1ES (old style).  I was actually looking at your Ref 8 for sale with my upcoming tax return but I really want to pick up an HE-6 again so it's only one or the other for my budget at the moment.  Considering NFB-2.32 to pair with instead.  The Modi i'm using now is decent for the money but I need a better source to do this amp justice.


Edited by JWahl - 1/30/13 at 3:13pm
post #170 of 327
Quote:
Originally Posted by JWahl View Post

I'd have to agree with this.  I find it warm only in the sense that it doesn't exaggerate source material that is already borderline bright.  It's certainly not colored enough to paint a magical illusion over poorly recorded material.  As Faudrei mentioned in his review, I find the "coloration" to be in the area of harmonics, not frequency response. It could be that the topology of the amp is engineered to retain certain small amounts of the "euphonic" harmonic distortion, similar to tube amps, but in smaller amounts and not affecting clarity and black background like some tubes might.  Though it is a pleasant coloration to me, and doesn't detract from the clarity or detail of the amp.  I'm very hesitant to say it sounds like tubes because it doesn't necessarily, and "tube coloration" already conjures up certain preconceptions that I don't think apply to this amp.  

 

Also, the exceptional sense of space and depth in the soundstage could be taken by some to be larger than life and be considered a coloration.  When I first got the amp, I thought it was really laid back but after further listening I realized this was simply a product of it's increased soundstage and was still fully capable of an intimate sound when the recording calls for it with plenty of impact when called upon.  One thing I want to emphasize is that this is in no way a slow or sluggish sounding amp.  I think what is so "seductive" is the non-fatiguing presentation combined with a sense of speed and clarity normally only reserved for more ruthlessly neutral amps.  Almost similar to how an LCD-2 can be both warm and fast at the same time.

Aha well when I was talking colouration, I was quite vague, but you did answer my question. 

 

Specicifically for the Denons:

Non emphasized smooth treble: check.

Neutral FR: check.

High PRaT:check (if its slow then it overslows the already somewhat slow Denons)

 

and finally

Not adding harmonics: Not check. But this can be broken - case and point WA6SE and EC Zana Duex SE. But it has to be done right, otherwise the music becomes syrupy. I'm gonna guess its subtle. 

 

Even more curious to try it now.

post #171 of 327

Just a quick post to say that technically, it's on par with the integrated amp of my NFB-27 in balanced mode. This was not expected.

 

I was already amazed by the size of the soundstage and the bass slam it put on my face (coming from a M-Stage with HE-500)! I though that going balanced would even increase these technicalities (that's what I read a lot of time, especially on the NFB-10SE thread) but that's clearly not the case.

 

The only difference I can notice is a change in signature (to the benefit of the SA-31 in my case). The added harmonics are never too much and they simply grow on me! It makes the music both relaxing and engaging, which, in my book, is quite a feat. The Metrum Quad is the other gear that also achieves that...

 

The bass might also be a tiny bit (and I mean tiny) loosen, which I also appreciate. Don't get me wrong, the bass is very tight (when associated with the NFB-27 as a DAC), much more than with the Metrum Quad. That might just be the overall warmer voicing that gives me that impression.

 

As for the level of warmth it exhibit, I would say that with the max warmth setting (2 jumpers), it's not warmer than the M-Stage (from memory, I did not compare them side by side, though I could, since I still have the matrix).

 

Bottom line: an excellent amp to pair with the sometimes bright Hifiman planars!


Edited by Clemmaster - 1/31/13 at 5:04am
post #172 of 327
Quote:
Originally Posted by WiR3D View Post

I keep getting the impression that this is an amp for low impedance headphones that need some juice and you want to add some colour - AKG's, low impedance planers, most probably Grado.

 

Not for already coloured headphones like the Denon D7000. 

 

Rated output specs:

10000 MW /  40 ohm

8000 MW /  50 ohm

 4000 MW  /  100 ohm

1400 MW / 300 ohm

700 MW / 600 ohm

 

So, as far as driving higher impedance headphones like the Senn HD650s, it is putting out 1.4 watts into 300 Ohms which translate to 20 Volts... that's right up there with OTL tube amps power isn't it?  But then the OTL amp wouldn't be able to put nearly so much juice into the lower impedance headphones.  Seems like you are getting the best of both worlds here?


Edited by runswithaliens - 1/31/13 at 7:37am
post #173 of 327
Quote:
Originally Posted by runswithaliens View Post

 

Rated output specs:

10000 MW /  40 ohm

8000 MW /  50 ohm

 4000 MW  /  100 ohm

1400 MW / 300 ohm

700 MW / 600 ohm

 

So, as far as driving higher impedance headphones like the Senn HD650s, it is putting out 1.4 watts into 300 Ohms which translate to 20 Volts... that's right up there with OTL tube amps power isn't it?  But then the OTL amp wouldn't be able to put nearly so much juice into the lower impedance headphones.  Seems like you are getting the best of both worlds here?

edit - i was being a tard and BTW its mW not MW - thats substation level power

 

 

insert Nazism


Edited by WiR3D - 1/31/13 at 8:01am
post #174 of 327

Quick question, which would be better for the SA-31 silver RCAs or copper RCAs?
 

post #175 of 327
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsoontan View Post

Quick question, which would be better for the SA-31 silver RCAs or copper RCAs?
 

Cryo butterfly fart RCA

post #176 of 327
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsoontan View Post

Quick question, which would be better for the SA-31 silver RCAs or copper RCAs?
 


I can't answer this question, as there are way to many different kinds of RCA cables! There are awesome copper interconnects AND awesome silver interconnects AND awesome SPC interconnects AND awesome Silver/Gold interconnects, so I'd say you should tell us which are the RCAs you are interested in?

post #177 of 327
Quote:
Originally Posted by AManAnd88Keys View Post


I can't answer this question, as there are way to many different kinds of RCA cables! There are awesome copper interconnects AND awesome silver interconnects AND awesome SPC interconnects AND awesome Silver/Gold interconnects, so I'd say you should tell us which are the RCAs you are interested in?


I suppose what I want to know is if getting a decent RCA cable is worth it compared to say a normal cheap RCA cable. ie. $5 cable vs. $50 cable.

post #178 of 327
Quote:
Originally Posted by JWahl View Post

That's true.  I just find it more dramatic with SA series than the ACSS.  I've only previously the SA-1 DAC and NFB-1ES (old style).  I was actually looking at your Ref 8 for sale with my upcoming tax return but I really want to pick up an HE-6 again so it's only one or the other for my budget at the moment.  Considering NFB-2.32 to pair with instead.  The Modi i'm using now is decent for the money but I need a better source to do this amp justice.

I can recommend it!
Pairs really well with the HE-6 (along with the Mini-X)
Very neutral yet very slightly warm which helps the HE-6 slightly accentuated treble as it never sounds harsh with recordings.
post #179 of 327
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsoontan View Post


I suppose what I want to know is if getting a decent RCA cable is worth it compared to say a normal cheap RCA cable. ie. $5 cable vs. $50 cable.


Oh boy, that's a discussion I don't want to start. I for one use higher quality cable and think that it is definitely worth it to spend quite some money on good interconnects if you are about to get a nice amp. But others would probably call me crazy and all that, so don't take my word for it. There's a kind of pro and anti-cable war that never seems to end...

post #180 of 327
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsoontan View Post

I suppose what I want to know is if getting a decent RCA cable is worth it compared to say a normal cheap RCA cable. ie. $5 cable vs. $50 cable.

You know - some claim its pointless, some claim its a big factor.
 

I for one, Think anything that meets a decent line of specifications (for interconnects) is perfect. QED Audio 2 cables, thats where I stop. Lifetime warranty, good quality, not expensive. 

 

As for speaker cables - lamp wire or anything that can carry a lot of current and isn't corroded or going past a massive source of noise.

 

Or Coax cable - little more difficult to work with, but if the entire television industry runs off it, then why the hell not.


Edited by WiR3D - 1/31/13 at 2:56pm
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